By Karl Leif Bates
Duke statisticians formed a key variable in launching the first-ever “Women in Statistics” conference that kicks off Thursday, May 15 in Cary.
The meeting has attracted more than 300 attendees from around the country, including women from both academics and industry, said co-chair Dalene Stangl, a professor of the practice and associate chair and director of undergraduate studies in Duke’s department of statistics.
Rather than hearing the latest on Beyesian analysis, the group is going to focus on networking, mentoring, career advice and leadership, Stangl said.
The meeting was inspired by a conference called Women in Computer Science that has grown to more than 4,000 attendees. “We’re trying to replicate that,” said Stangl, who is chair of the American Statistical Association’s committee on women.
The inclusion of industry speakers from pharmaceuticals, retail, and government agencies as well as academics is deliberate Stangl said. “Many of the professional societies are organized around that academic role, but industry is a great option for many women.”
Attendees seem to be a healthy mix of novice and experienced, she added. “If we’re missing a group, it’s probably in the middle, ” she said. The conference runs through Saturday.